How not to get robbed in Santiago

In this article, I want to talk a little about how and where to be careful. Well, in general, about travelers and how to be alert on the trip.

Chile is a country in the South American continent that can not be considered dangerous or criminal. It is very safe and the people there are very friendly. However, this story tells that in any country, in any place and time you have to be careful and attentive to the reality around you.

The event occurred in the capital of Chile – Santiago. The streets of this great city are always full of people and noise. Even if you are on the outskirts of the city it is difficult to hide in your own solitude and silence.

I was walking with a friend in the center of the city, we decided to go to the central market where they always sell cheap and delicious food. In one of the restaurants, we ordered empanadas with shrimp and cheese (one of my favorite dishes here). We spoke with enthusiasm when I realized the movement beside me.

I had my backpack where I found all the valuable things I needed on the trip: a computer, a camera, and all the chargers. This day I was going to Easter Island, so I had to walk to the plane with my backpack.

Thanks to my quick reaction and the fact that the backpack was very heavy, and the thief was unable to escape quickly – the robbery did not actually happen. At this time I saw that instead of my backpack there was a different smaller backpack near me. I was stunned why my backpack suddenly changed. At a glance, I understood what it is all about: the thief changed the backpack! I immediately got up and ran after him. At the same time, the people around continued to live their lives and did not pay much attention to what was happening. Maybe it would not interfere or he was used to this type of theft.

Seeing my determination to return my backpack, the thief stopped, put it on the ground and walked away quickly. I was in a state of shock, I took my backpack and went with my friend quickly from this restaurant.

As it turned out, it is quite common in Santiago. Thieves remove bags, backpacks from careless tourists, and put similar things in their place. Sometimes people do not notice it.

This type of theft is called cambiazo. On the same day, a similar case happened to my friend. And, in fact, this often happens with chilean people. It is always important to control your environment, to feel things, even if you do not have them in your hands. And of course not to lose sight of valuable objects, especially in crowded places.